Resilient Societies (RS) is an activist-led hub providing support and creating safe spaces for grassroots networks of human rights defenders and democracy and civil society activists to collaborate, innovate, and advocate in ‘closing’ and ‘closed’ civic spaces. RS builds on Canada’s culture of embracing diversity and pluralism and its generosity in supporting and welcoming at-risk activists and translates it into organic, innovative, and activist-centered programs and projects with impacts in the diaspora and activists’ countries of origin. By building resilience, enhancing voice and agency, and raising the credibility and relevance of civil society activists and human rights defenders from closed and closing spaces, RS contributes to reversing global democratic backsliding and shrinking civic spaces.
This launch event will:
- Introduce Resilient Societies’ mandate, scope, and strategic directions in support of creating open and enabling civic spaces in Canada and globally.
- Raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities civil society organizations, democracy activists, and human rights defenders face in countries with closed and repressive civic spaces.
- Highlight strategic opportunities for engaging and collaborating with diaspora activists from closed and repressive spaces in Canada.
Moderator: Sayed Madadi, Fellow, Middle East Institute
- Julie Delahanty, President, International Development Research Centre
- Tara Denham, Director General for Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion, Global Affairs Canada
- Chris Eaton, Executive Director, World University Service of Canada
- Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada (English-Speaking Branch)
- Maiwand Rahyab, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Resilient Societies
- Muzna Dureid, Advocacy and Partnership Manager, Nobel Women’s Initiative.
- Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development
- Welcome, land acknowledgement, and introductions
- Keynote address
- Launching of Resilient Societies
- Panel discussion
- Closing remarks
- Refreshments and networking